What should you send this month?
Here's a guide to email marketing throughout the year, from January messaging around New Year's resolutions to closing things out on a high note with holiday newsletters.
Q1: January - March
Happy New Year, Shopify merchants! Hopefully you had a chance to replenish your mental batteries after a busy and profitable holiday season.
This month, the big focus is on utilizing your product to help your customers attain their goals for the new year. I'll be reviewing examples and how you can approach this in your email marketing. We've also got bonus material around Valentine's Day.
As noted in the video, one of the most essential things Shopify merchants can do to help their email marketing this month and through the rest of the year is to:
- Maintain your consistency. Are you sending weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly? Make a choice and stick with it.
- Recognize your important dates. Ecommerce events like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day are significant, and you'll want to bookmark them so that you are prepared.
- Plan for the future. Speaking of being prepared, block off time in your calendar to prep your marketing efforts. It's the best and easiest way to ensure you have enough time to get everything done. For example, if you want to send an email on Thursday morning, reserve time on Tuesday to create and test it.
January ushers in a time of self-improvement and a fresh start. By far, one of the hottest topics this month is acting on one's New Year's resolutions.
Your customers will be thinking about how they want to improve their lives and are actively searching for solutions. This is why we see such a spike in health-related product purchases during this time of year. However, even if you don't sell products related to health/well-being, it's still a perfect time to state the solution your product brings to the table.
Think about how your product could solve your customer's New Year's resolutions and angle your emails to address that during January.
Here's an example from Withings. A lot of people want to lose weight in the new year. Smart watches and scales can naturally help in accomplishing such a goal, and Withings points out how.
In the example below from Dove, the message is a little more subtle. They relate their products to a fresh start and boosting confidence. This is a smart approach for a brand that might not instantly be seen as providing a resolution solution.
Up next: Valentine's Day. One of the more prominent money makers for ecommerce, buyers spend about $175 on Valentine's Day. Recent studies have also shown that people don't just buy for their partners, but also their families/dogs/themselves.
Remember that shipping dates are a top concern for Valentine's Day. We suggest reviewing your deadlines and ensuring your email marketing aligns so that customers receive their gifts before Feb. 14.
While there are several important dates in February, we're focusing specifically on Valentine's Day. It's an important moneymaker for Shopify merchants, and it deserves extra attention.
There are some traditional products that come to mind for Valentine's Day sales; however, we challenge you to think about angling your shop to capitalize.
Valentine's Day produced $23.9 billion in sales last year, which will likely be outpaced this year. People who purchase for Valentine's Day spent an average of $175. Trends also suggest that people aren't just buying for their partners; they also buy for pets, friends, children, and themselves.
With this in mind, let's look at a few examples of Valentine's Day messages.
Traditional Valentine's Day newsletters
First, here's a classic example from Tiffany & Co that highlights a product recommendation. It includes a note of urgency by stating the specific order cutoff for on-time delivery.
Some takeaways :
- Show off the product/collection that ties into Valentine's Day
- Stress your shipping deadlines to make sure the purchase arrives on time
- Theme your newsletter's colors/imagery to Valentine's Day
Non-traditional Valentine's Day newsletters
For those who don't sell 'traditional' Valentine's Day items, fear not! There is still money on the table, and you should take advantage of it.
I love this example from More Labs. They sell a dietary supplement that helps with sleep. They've found a way to combine their product with Valentine's Day thoughtfully and with humor. They do it with entertaining copy and a tiered discount strategy. Ultimately, it's a promotion intended to raise their average order value (AOV).
Developing a campaign for Valentine's Day
Finally, it's essential to consider that many brands increase the number of newsletters sent on large ecommerce holidays (Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Black Friday). So, inboxes will be more crowded than usual. It means that if you want to compete, you'll need to create a campaign for your promotion.
A campaign is a collection of emails that all have the same goal. They often look alike and are sent in succession.
Here's an excellent example from MeUndies.
Notice how they address several customer types at once in the first message (buying for your boo, BFF, pet)? They've got something for everyone. Then they stress shipping and the importance of ordering within the right time. Finally, they wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day and include a social contest. Watch our video above for a full breakdown.
Want to send a Valentine's Day campaign but don't have time to put it together? Check out our campaign templates in the Seguno email app.
Beyond Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is a big ecommerce event, but it's certainly not the only one during the shortest month of the year. Consider these other important dates/themes this month:
- Black History Month
- The Super Bowl (Feb. 12)
- Mardi Gras (Feb. 21)
If you are a brand that resonates with these events, please make sure that you respect and support them with newsletters.
March is a busy month, Shopify merchants.
No. 1, there are a couple of email marketing opportunities. No. 2, April events demand some attention.
I’m focusing this blog post specifically on St. Patrick’s Day. But before we dig into ideas around the Luck ‘o the Irish, let’s dip into the other stuff you might choose to pursue. You can find more details and examples for each in the video:
- The weather. Winter is starting to loosen its grip as we move into spring (or, at least we hope that’s the case, wherever you are). I love weather-related emails because of their relevancy. In general, they’re tied to a shared experience. Make a connection between your products and the weather, however you can. Spring equals change and renewal. And rain. Lots of it. How can your product fit?
- Easter. This is a gift-giving event that spells opportunity for a wide range of companies, from those that specialize in food and drink, to religious items, to clothing and novelty pieces. Easter falls on April 9, so start sending email marketing promotions this month if your shop depends on this holiday for a boost.
- April Fool’s Day. This is a little tricky (pun intended). Determining if an April Fool’s approach is right for your brand is the first step. Thereafter, could your joke be misinterpreted? Does your test audience legitimately find it funny? And is there a point to it?
Check out Subscribe Meow to see our April 1 campaign from last year. We used it as a segue to introducing a new product: Seguno's popup app.
Spreading shamrock cheer
A few aspects about St. Patrick’s Day distinguish it from other things happening throughout the year.
It’s a light-hearted cultural and social celebration. It’s not a typical gift-giving event. And while it’s not specifically tied to ecommerce, a lot of people buy products to mark the occasion, like:
- Food and beverages, including the alcoholic variety
- Children’s clothing
- Novelty items
- Home decor and party supplies
- Irish-focused goods
Have fun with this social event. Kahlua, for example, gets in on the holiday by teaming with Jameson. That’s a tasty-looking Irish Cold Brew Martini, indeed!
You might say, “I don't sell products that can tie into St. Patrick's Day.” No problem. Lots of brands opt for the generic route so they can cash in on the day.
Green background with four-leaf clovers. Maybe a leprechaun with a pot of gold. And a phrase that relates.
It’s certainly more interesting if you can devise something a bit more creative. But there’s nothing wrong with the example above from Rugs.com. Especially if you’re running low on time. Remember, you can always take a shortcut by tapping our template library.
My biggest advice is to take a gut check. If your brand isn’t really St. Patrick’s Day worthy, then save your energy for the event that does deserve your efforts.
Q2: April - June
April is stacked with promo opportunities. Stacked.
Yeah, that seems to be a trend each month. But the great thing for Shopify merchants is that it’s the truth.
I introduced Easter as an email marketing topic last month and I think it’s worth diving into again. It’s such a heavy-hitting holiday and therefore, the main focus of this post.
At the end I round up other dates on the calendar to consider. American Tax Day, Earth Day and Mother’s Day are all email promo springboards.
Hop into Easter
Easter is a religious and cultural event that every shop owner should consider as an email marketing launchpad. It has a lot of ecommerce value. In 2022 the National Retail Foundation reported that 80 percent of Americans celebrated it.
Key to remember is that anyone who makes Easter-related purchases intends to use them on that day — or even before, depending on the extent of their festivities. So if your shop offers clothing, novelty items, or anything that might be used for the holiday, delivering products by April 9 is important.
Call out shipping deadlines in your email marketing. Use last-chance messaging as an urgent poke.
Beyond that, I advise shops that have an obvious Easter tie-in, such as candy or children’s clothing purveyors, to send more than one email. The messaging could be a three-part series like this:
- Top Easter items
- Make sure your order arrives in time
- Easter day sale
Let’s get into some real examples to spark ideas for your shop.
Ex. #1: The how-to
How-to emails speak to me, and Tattly has a great one. (We’ve chopped it apart and rearranged in the image below for space sake.)
I never associated temporary tattoos with Easter until this email. What a brilliant thought — apply them to Easter eggs! Tattly shows off its simplicity, and in a beautiful way, with a four-step process.
Ex. #2: Traditional imagery
Next up, a more straightforward email from Maisonette.
This is a familiar layout for this brand. We’re only showing the top lifestyle-shots portion, but the remainder of the email features blocks such as “The Easter Shop,” “Easter Dresses” and “Easter Home,” with accompanying images that give a peek at some of the items you’ll find.
I like the approach. It can be really effective. Displaying some of the “Easter best” by categories means the recipient doesn’t have to dig through the website to find what they want. Click on the appropriate category and done.
Ex. #3: The pun
What if your inventory contains nothing aligned with Peter Cottontail and Easter baskets? You could still slip in an email with your own marketing spin. Bonus if you’re running an incentive.
The brand Thrive does this when advertising its software for freelancers.
“We’ve hatched a plan” paired with Easter egg imagery — clever enough. Almost anyone could take this same path.
If you’re in need of beautiful Easter-themed templates, hop over to our template store within the Seguno email app.
All things non-Easter
As I mentioned, April is packed with options that might resonate with your audience:
- Tax Day (April 17). This is an opportunity to communicate with your entire audience, as it’s a shared experience for most Americans. I see a lot of brands suggesting that subscribers direct some of their tax refunds their way, throwing in a sale for extra enticement. Some get witty with it (i.e., “this is a message from the IRS,” as in the Irresistible Retail Sale).
- Eid al-Fitr (April 21-22): If you have products pertinent to this Muslim celebration, then consider sending an email. More importantly, a relevant message — which doesn’t have to push a promo — could mean a lot to subscribers who observe Eid al-Fitr.
- Earth Day (April 22). More like Earth Month for some brands, and for good reason. People care about sustainability — Shopify pointed it out in its 2022 trends report — and expect it. Earth Day naturally presents a chance to show how you care for the earth. Keep in mind that authenticity matters.
- Mother’s Day (May 14). Don’t underestimate this day, along with its male counterpart in June. It’s a big gift-giving holiday, which means shipping deadlines are important. That, in turn, means you’ll be cutting it a little too close if you only run one promotion in May.
One extra note about Mother’s Day. It’s a sensitive occasion for some people. Accommodate their feelings by offering a temporary opt-out from email marketing. Build a special page on your site for email signup, tag all who sign up, then remove them from any Mother’s Day emails. Contact us if you want to do this and need help.
Otherwise, check out the video for loads more insight on, plus examples of, non-Easter promos.
It's time to zero in on Mother’s Day messages and look ahead to Father’s Day promotions.
So up first in this post, I’m doing a deep dive on mom-dad email marketing before getting into other stuff on the May radar.
A National Retail Federation survey shows the average per-person spending in 2022 was $245.76 for Mother's Day. Any email marketing efforts are worthwhile, especially when considering the $171.79 average spend for Father’s Day in 2022 (sorry, Dad).
There are plenty of last-minute shoppers. Announce any popup shops you may be involved in, or make it known if you’re offering local delivery. Otherwise, a lot of people settle on gift cards. Terrain takes advantage of this common practice, while at the same time showcasing other ideas.
Everlane has its own late-to-the-game message that focuses instead on two-day shipping. I adore their heartfelt approach. Maybe it’s just me, but these candid, old-school images of moms produce a certain effect. They trigger something in my brain that evokes well-loved photos from my own family collection.
I’m no expert in psychology, but it’s an emotional marketing strategy that could sway someone like me to at least click through to their site.
As you’re creating these emails, I recommend you place one question at the forefront: How can I best help someone find the right gift? I’d venture to say that some moms are treating themselves, too, so keep that perspective in mind.
Get moving for dad’s special day
Father’s Day isn’t until June 18. But your customer wants dear old dad to get his present in time.
Now is the time to check the calendar. Pinpoint the final day someone can place an order and expect to receive it by Father’s Day. Work backwards to devise the email promo schedule.
In fact, it’s wise to build in extra time. Some customers will ship the purchase to themselves, wrap it, and then mail it to their fathers.
Consider including deadlines in the email, or even adding a shipping FAQ page to your site. Shipping is a top concern for online consumers, so be transparent to foster realistic buyer expectations.
Let’s take a look at some marketing examples. I found a few cool ones to share.
I like Italic’s sleek appearance and spot-on visuals. They mix lifestyle shots with great product photos. I really like that they’ve browsed their inventory to pick out five recommendations. (I’m only showing the first one here.)
I mentioned the “treat yourself” email for Mother’s Day. The same applies for dads.
Purple elevates this concept and does so unabashedly. The setup is fantastic: “There’s no shame in buying yourself a gift. Besides, who knows you better than you?”
Tip: To create something like Purple’s product recommendations section, curate a Father’s Day-worthy collection in Shopify. It’s a snap to pull them into your Seguno-created emails with a collection section.
Ideas for the rest of May
Speaking for American online shoppers as a whole, Memorial Day has got to ring in as the largest ecommerce event for the month. Lots of big-box stores tout the weekend as “the biggest sales event of the season.”
Your brand may choose to travel the same road. Perhaps you run a sale a little earlier to get a share of consumers’ wallets, or alternatively do a post-holiday event appealing to those disappointed by lackluster offers.
Whatever the path, I urge you to remember what we’re commemorating on Memorial Day. It’s especially important to acknowledge when it’s a particularly meaningful day for your audience.
Here’s what else is happening in May, by order of date. For the right audience and brand, email marketing can be very impactful:
- Star Wars Day (aka May the 4th): A good chunk of Seguno merchants — and Shopify stores in general — sell items related to Star Wars, comics and science fiction. If that’s you, then this is totally your day! It can also be your day if you’re dying to put your mastery of Yoda Speak to good use.
- Cinco de Mayo (May 5): This isn’t a typical ecommerce event. But there’s a heck of a lot of events organized around it, along with folks who indulge in Mexican-inspired food and beverages.
Seguno’s template store includes many options tied to these May events. (Yep, even a May the 4th one.)
One more idea: Start planning for Pride Month. Akin to April’s Earth Day, more brands are recognizing and participating in this celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and progress toward equality. The month is also about amplifying the work that still needs to be done.
I’ve got a lot more information on the dos and don’ts of Pride-related email marketing in this month’s video, plus examples for the other May happenings.
Summer is here! Alright, not technically, but I prefer to define summer as kicking off with Memorial Day.
With that in mind, I’m focusing on the biggest summer celebration in the United States. Then I’ll dig into other events — Prime Day, Father’s Day and others — you might harness for your email newsletter program.
Fourth of July
Before I start, one note: America’s neighbor to the north celebrates its birthday with Canada Day on July 1. So all of the ideas below — with thematic tweaks, of course — are appropriate for Canadian companies and/or customers, too.
The latest data shows people spend around $84 for Fourth of July celebrations. That’s on food alone. The same report projected 26% of those celebrating the holiday had planned to buy additional patriotic items. There aren’t just barbecues, but parades and community gatherings to attend.
You’re going to see a lot of generic sales from the big-box stores. "Flash sale!" "Take 40% off your entire purchase!" "Free shipping!" And lots of other similar messaging.
These types of offers are hard to swing for a lot of Shopify stores. But more importantly, there’s not anything special about relying on a huge discount. I think it’s much more interesting and memorable to tap into the event itself. This is what Carnivore Club and Bright Cellars do.
Both brands recognize that the Fourth of July is a live event that brings people together. They show off how their products — a bottle of wine, a charcuterie board — are a good fit for the occasion.
Or, put your own spin on the red, white and blue like BLNQ does. First off, sunglasses tie perfectly in with the Fourth. They’re essential, so long as the sun is out. I like how they weave in “independence” and subtly make use of patriotic colors without going overboard.
Whiting & Davis has some fun, too, with the red, white and blue concept. “Stars, stripes and crystal bracelets” — it totally works and makes complete sense to promote.
Amazon’s Prime Day has become so big that “it has completely altered the retail calendar,” says CNBC technology reporter Annie Palmer.
Large retailers have adjusted their promotions, which means smaller businesses should also pay attention. The exact date hasn’t been announced, but the 2022 version was July 12 and 13. So it’s wise to start planning and promoting this month.
Here's an example from More Labs, a direct-to-consumer brand that also sells on Amazon. They piggyback on Prime Day by directing email subscribers to their Amazon site. This is a worthy tactic if you’re present on the platform.
What if your shop isn’t on Amazon? Take advantage by promoting a Prime Day special. Slide a reference into the subject line, or subtly mention why your shop deserves patronage over Jeff Bezos’ empire.
Other June newsletter ideas
June is ripe with other email marketing opportunities, from cause marketing to summer trends. Some of these I talked about last month and they’re worth a second mention.
First is Father’s Day — a major gift-giving event that falls on June 18 this year. I talked through some examples in May (and have more in the accompanying video), so here are some quick reminders:
- Figure out the last possible shipping date so you can inform your subscribers
- Create a collection of Father’s Day gifts to link to
- Run a campaign with multiple messages to cast a wider net
If you could use a little help, visit our Template store and snag a newsletter to get you started.
Otherwise, consider these other launchpads for your email marketing:
- Pride Month: This observance is growing in prominence, as major brands have latched onto it. So, definitely lean into it if you or your brand are a part of this community. Here's some email marketing guidance and ideas, along with a great resource for developing a Pride campaign (registration, which is free, is required to read the whole article).
- Juneteenth (June 19): You may have heard about the backlash Wal-Mart received in 2022 after rolling out an ice cream to mark the occasion. I bring this up because it’s important to think about what Juneteenth is about: a celebration of the end of slavery. Only integrate it into your email marketing if you’re thoughtfully honoring it and not turning it into a money grab. Be transparent about how your brand is helping advance the commemoration. If you’re going to align yourself with a related charity, make sure it’s a credible one.
- Travel: In 2022, June was the most popular summer travel month. If you have items that help people with their travel plans — whether it’s swimwear or gear for hitting the road — now is a good time to talk about them.
- End of the school year: Gifting opportunities galore, between presents for teachers and graduates!
As always, check out the video for more inspirational email examples.
Q3: July - September
Welcome to the dog days of summer, Shopify merchants.
These lazy, hazy times don’t have to necessarily equate to a slow email marketing calendar. You’ve come to the right place if you need ideas.
We’re focusing on summer sales, but also talking about last-minute 4th of July promos and yes, even back to school.
I’m posting the video for some general tips and examples. Keep reading below for some more inspiration that I’ve pulled together for you.
The thing about the “summer sale” is that they happen throughout the season. July is as good a time as any to promote one.
Normally, they are just that: straightforward sales. So there’s no need to overthink them or get complicated.
Here’s one from Bed in a Box. You know what you’re getting (30% off mattress bundles, 20% off select mattresses, and potentially a free gift) and when (one week). I also like how they give specific ideas, and reveal the actual savings by showing what you’d pay full price versus what you pay with the deal.
Not to mention, the text copy is on point. "Snooze Sale." "Zzzzzs." Perfect.
Next up is a beauty from House of Antique Hardware. I love the aesthetics. The lifestyle shot at top sets the tone and is a good match for the “simple” and “stylish” reference in the headline.
In fact, the rest of the email follows suit. The copy is short and direct, yet effective, throughout — from spelling out the sale to featuring ideas by way of categorized products. Plus, the images are lovely.
You can also capitalize on Christmas in July, like James Michelle does below. Again, the sale offer is easy to discern. But what I really like is how they stick to their branding. Rather than cave to red and green, they mold their own Christmas tree to fit their natural color palette.
And on top of it, the tree is an eye-catching gif. Each diamond block features a rotation of jewelry pieces. See the full effect here.
Head over to Seguno’s Template store for summery options, from the sale to the style guide to the vacation-bound.
Other ideas for July
I covered 4th of July in our June edition of what to send, given the fact that the holiday hits so early in the month. Since you’ve still got some time to leverage it, let’s take another look.
Traditionally, this is a great time to clear out excess stock to make room for the big selling season that is Q4 and back to school (more on that in a minute). There are a couple of different ways you can approach it:
- One big, straightforward promotion: a simple graphic that’s red, white and blue themed, alongside a promotion (see how Tommy Hilfiger does it)
- Product feature: promote items that are red, white, and blue, or American themed (see DAVIDsTEA)
Also, if you’re participating in a live event — whether it's in store or part of a popup market at a local 4th of July celebration — tell your audience about it! Let them know when and where you’re going to be, and encourage them to follow you on your social handles for an extra punch.
And last, I mentioned shopping for the classroom. Back-to-school shopping starts ramping up mid-month and continues all the way through Labor Day.
Get a piece of the spending. There are college kids heading back to dorms, budget-conscious parents looking for school supply deals, and wardrobes to be updated.
August is a bit different from the past couple of months because it lacks a big traditional retail event anchored to a holiday.
That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to promote. It’s just that the email marketing pickings are a bit slim for most Shopify merchants.
Below is our August video, or keep scrolling for some email ideas.
Back to school
If there’s one event that stands out, it’s back to school. That goes for kiddos of primary school age plus young adults pursuing higher education.
In 2022, families spent an average $864 on back-to-school shopping. Spending was even higher for college shopping — $1,199 — according to the same National Retail Federation report.
Students need supplies. Growth spurts — and the desire for a fresh look — drive clothing purchases. Therefore, there’s a lot of spending going on across a variety of industries. Don’t count your shop out just because you don’t sell pencils and notebooks.
I’ll leave you with one example from Vitruvi that shows a non-traditional back-to-school slant.
I’m pretty sure that the average person doesn’t associate an essential oil diffuser with back to school, which is why this email from Vitruvi is so clever. I love the lifestyle shot that features more traditional items, with the diffuser hanging out (and in operation) in the background. Pair it with really creative copy — plus a fantastic call to action — and you’ve got a winner.
Want more advice and examples for back-to-school email marketing? We dive deeper in this blog post.
Other ideas for August
I’ve got two other email marketing angles you might want to try out:
- End-of-summer sale. A few months ago we advocated sending a “Hey, summer’s here” email. Now, it’s (unfortunately) time to say farewell. This is a great chance to bring the curtain down on your summer products and clear product out in prep for the fall season. Consider a straight-up discount, perhaps with a minimum spend order, or even a free gift.
- Labor Day (Sept. 4). This is another holiday that’s very much focused around promotions. It’s time-sensitive, too. You can start a bit early with your email messages, but it’s not as if Labor Day weekend lasts for very long. Spend some time this month thinking about the promotions you want to execute so you’re not scrambling last minute. (Check out our templates store for patriotic templates.)
Next up: rounding out Q3 email marketing possibilities!
Welcome to the last month before email marketing veers in a new direction for many Shopify merchants.
The rush of the holiday season is near. But before it arrives in full force, we have September. I see it as a transitional period: we’re easing our way out of summer and settling into all things autumn.
Use these two ideas to fuel some of your email marketing newsletters:
- Labor Day (for our American and Canadian audience)
- The fall season
We’re breaking down one email example for each. You can also view the video below for more ideas, email examples and advice.
If you didn't use the last days of August to start sending Labor Day emails, now's the time. If you can’t swing it, shoot for the Friday or Saturday before the holiday and follow up with one last message on the actual day.
Labor Day promotions are generally straightforward. They’re one-half of the bookend to summer, so they typically have a vibe similar to Memorial Day email newsletters. Brands often invoke American patriotism, usually to a lesser degree. But the stars and stripes aren’t necessary.
Take SJK, which caters to outdoor enthusiasts, for example. There’s no red, white and blue. Instead, the email relies on a site-wide sale and its products. SJK gear perfectly aligns with the holiday. I’d expect that a chunk of their subscribers plan to enjoy the outdoors over the long weekend, whether it’s for a day of fishing or a camping getaway.
I love the simplicity of this message. You quickly comprehend the offer. The photos and categories are straightforward and a fantastic avenue for leading subscribers to the website for further exploration.
If you’re in a rush or want to treat yourself to some lovely imagery, visit Seguno’s Template store. You’ll find Labor Day and end-of-summer templates ready for use.
The fall season
Fall can bring serious sales for your Shopify store. We’re swapping t-shirts and shorts for long sleeves and jeans. We pack away summer furniture and decor, and start turning our attention to mums, apples and pumpkins — lots of pumpkins (and spice).
Francesca’s nicely plays into the seasonal transition. September fashion is tricky for many of us. The day starts chilly, warms up, then ends on the cool side. How do you dress for that?
I like that the email recognizes these fluctuations and presents the layering solution. They go further by offering more suggestions for the colder months ahead. They even toss in a “sweet scents of the season” candle promo.
September is prime time for fashion brands to focus email marketing on style guide messaging.
Head to Seguno’s Template store for a fall-themed email newsletter if you’re short on time or want a professional’s touch.
One more September email idea
For certain holidays, the marketing engine seems to kick into gear earlier each year. Halloween falls into this category. I suppose I wasn’t surprised to see a Halloween-themed marketing email arrive in mid-August.
That means September is fair game. After all, plenty of people need costume ideas. Others are itching to swap a cute witch display for a ghoulish theme.
At least some of your audience is ready to see what you offer, too.
Q4: October - December
Welcome to fall! And to another edition of “What should my email marketing calendar look like this month?”
I’m here to show Shopify merchants fun ways to pump up their Halloween promotions. And no, we’re not going down the cliche road of “no tricks, just treats.”
It’s about that time for spooktacular messaging to have its moment.
People spend on costumes, candy, decorations, greeting cards, and anything else needed to throw a party. In 2022, spending accumulated to an estimated $10.6 billion.
Let’s start with a traditional take. We’re looking at a brand that sells products specifically for Halloween.
If you’re like Emma Bridgewater regarding holiday-aligning products, I highly recommend you run a campaign of multiple messages that have a similar appearance or feel. Emails from a campaign look related, as if they could be siblings. You're setting your brand up for better recall.
Emma Bridgewater’s emails achieve continuity and consistency through fall-ish colors, titles fitting for the ghoulish season, and a standard email layout of one hero image with product recommendations. A coordinated campaign like this builds brand reputation and trust. And we all know that people buy from brands they trust.
You might be saying, “But Kestrel, my brand and Halloween don’t mix,” to which I say, “There are still ways to connect.”
Your customers are experiencing Halloween, so take the reins and relate as best you can. The following are atypical Halloween email examples to give you ideas for pulling it off. Warning: an off-the-beaten-path Halloween email requires you to tap into your creative reserves.
First example: Warby Parker.
What business does an eyeglass company have poking its nose into Halloween? Warby Parker does it convincingly by harnessing its distinct branding and vibe, combining it with a modern, cool take on the holiday.
In the world of Venn diagrams, this is a smart one. Warby Parker highlights that they — like any expert trick-or-treater — have eyes only for quality.
Have a lot on your plate? Head to Seguno’s template store to scoop up Halloween emails that require as much or as little customization as you want.
Up next is a gem from Outdoor Voices.
I love that they tied the holiday “spirit” to their refer-a-friend promotion. What a nice change of pace! Here are the things they do exceptionally well with this email message:
- The cute, moving ghosts are eye-catching
- The call to action is unexpected; “trek or trot” is just the right spin that perfectly fits Outdoor Voices’ active-wear brand
I’ve got space for one more example. Let’s take a look at More Labs.
This newsletter example demonstrates what every brand should regularly strive to do through email communications: be the solution provider. More Labs uses Halloween — the catalyst for a fair share of over-imbibing — to step in and solve what will be the resulting problem for many.
What else can you do in October?
Aside from Halloween, two other email marketing ideas bubble to the top of my mind.
One, we’ve wholly entered autumn. A lot of brands launch new products when seasons change. An email (or more) announcing its debut is a given.
Second, holiday prep time has officially arrived. Early shoppers are on the hunt. Major retail players run early sales, such as Target Deal Days and Amazon’s second Prime Day.
I’m not insinuating you need to jump on the sales promotion bandwagon. But it does mean that Shopify merchants must be on the ball with their holiday plans. At the very least, it’s wise to increase email frequency incrementally.
Check the video for more details on leveraging the fall season and prepping your shop for Black Friday and the holidays. Also, our Holiday Hub is an excellent resource for getting through it successfully.
Well, Shopify merchants, the time has come. Is your email marketing game plan ready for the battlefield of fierce competition?
It all can be a bit overwhelming, so we’re using this installment of the “what to send” series to break November down to the basics.
- How to do Thanksgiving messages the right way
- Two calendar options for Black Friday-Cyber Monday (BFCM) messaging
- Ways to “holidayize” your emails
Ecommerce marketers invest substantial time in BFCM strategies. Rightly so. In 2022, Black Friday generated a record $9.12 billion in online sales.
But let’s not forget Thanksgiving. The holiday poses an opportunity to connect with your subscribers.
There are a few things to note about Thanksgiving emails. First, unlike BFCM messages that rake in a lot of revenue and are a necessity for any Shopify store, the Thanksgiving email is optional.
Second, the holiday’s emphasis is on spending time with family and friends, and putting aside troubles to reflect on all for which you’re thankful. Your email should align. Toss in a promotion if you feel the urge, but your principle job is to express gratitude. Harness authenticity to shape the message — think candid images or a personal note.
Between the text and imagery, there’s heart behind the example below from Brandless. Additionally, they showcase the company’s generosity further down in the email with a summary of annual donations.
Browse more Thanksgiving emails to spur ideas for your own shop.
One of the most frequently asked questions about BFCM is, “How many emails should I send and when?”
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. One strategy may work well for one brand and flop for another.
We dedicate an entire blog post to BFCM and holiday calendars and present a number of sending strategies. Therefore, we’ll condense the options to two for this post:
- Bare minimum: three messages (one before Black Friday, and one each on Black Friday and Cyber Monday); best for those with extremely limited time, a small list, are new to email marketing, and/or infrequently send
- Comprehensive plan: twice-weekly messages for most of November, then ramp up to nearly every day for BFCM week; best for those already seeing a large return on investment from email marketing and sending on a weekly or bi-weekly basis
The two options above are on opposite ends of the spectrum. If both are too extreme, devise a schedule that falls somewhere between.
Once you’ve determined your strategy and are looking for email examples as a guide, head over to our Black Friday Lookbook.
For more BFCM email marketing help, check out:
- Email subject line and copy ideas
- Comprehensive BFCM 30-minute course, workbook included
‘Holidayize’ your emails
Here are a few small ways to add the holiday spirit to your marketing:
- Add gift collections to your menu bar
- Reuse special sections throughout the season
- Ensure product photography matches the season, whether it’s wrapped or adorned with holiday-themed touches
- Update your theme by incorporating holiday colors
See more ways to ‘holidayize’ your emails in Seguno.
Good luck with November prep!
We’ve made it to the home stretch! One month remains to elevate your Shopify store’s email marketing in pursuit of closing the year on a high note.
There’s plenty of time to capitalize on the holiday shopping rush with email newsletters — and messaging variety — over the remaining weeks:
- The last bit of November rolling into December: Cyber Week deals
- The first full week of December: prime time for gifting-based messages
- The second week of December: warn your audience of shipping deadlines
- The third week of December: talk about gift cards
- The last week of December: Boxing Day and end-of-the-year sales
Watch the video for advice and examples about gifting and gift card messages. Skip ahead for a closer look at shipping reminders. We’ll wrap up with a few extra marketing goodies.
Email marketing opportunity: shipping reminder
Urgency plays a pivotal role in many email newsletters around the Black Friday/Cyber Monday/holiday stretch — perhaps none so much as communicating shipping deadlines.
By underscoring purchase cutoff dates, you’re helping to stimulate sales among shoppers running out of time. But of greater importance, you’re providing support. Pointing out shipping deadlines is a friendly nudge that, at its heart, indicates you care about gifts reaching their destination in time.
We suggest incorporating the following in your email marketing program:
- An email section that highlights shipping deadlines. Create it once, save it, and insert it in every holiday email.
- An email newsletter reinforcing the shipping deadlines, sent the week of the deadline. It could be 48, 24 or even 12 hours before the cutoff.
Let’s take a look at how some brands do the latter.
American Giant uses a cute seasonal graphic to warn that there are 24 hours left to shop. They follow up with the details — the exact deadline time — in the text below.
We chopped Little Sleepies’ email into two so you could see the entire message. The first part — enhanced with an animated gif — reminds subscribers of the deadline for accessing free shipping. The second block dives into the specifics for remaining shipping options.
Taos Footwear leans on two shipping deadline emails. The first announces a 24-hour window for getting orders in for a Dec. 24 guaranteed delivery with standard shipping. The second is a notice about the deadlines for expedited shipping.
Bonus shipping tip: Alert subscribers if you offer local delivery that allows for extended shopping. You’ll want to segment your subscriber list by pinpointing the areas your delivery covers and notify the correlating locals via an email.
Round out your holiday marketing with engaging newsletters and a well-wishes message.
Extra pointers for December emails
We have a few pointers before closing out this year’s “What to Send” blog post:
- Advertise in-person or in-store pop-up shops.
- Gift guides can be a shopper’s goldmine; emails are the perfect avenue for exploiting them.
- Don’t forget about self-gifters. Some people are on the hunt for an item they’ve put off buying or need an outfit for an upcoming event. Others just want to splurge.
Good luck meeting your end-of-year goals! We’re rooting for your success.
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